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Certification Watch (Vol. 22, No. 10)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA say pen testers need practical experience, Certification Magazine has a surefire cert exam study method, and more.

CompTIA to Pen Testers: Get Your Hands Dirty


CompTIA says penetration testers should get lots of practical experience.Studying, generally via books, videos, and training courses, is how most people get their first exposure to the "beneath the hood" inner workings of information technology (IT). It's important across all IT disciplines, however, to eventually find some time to get up to your elbows in the actual nuts and bolts of whatever technology you're learning. One place where this is especially true is in the branch of cybersecurity that deals with penetration testing. Since penetration testing, also known as ethical hacking, is essentially the digital equivalent of breaking and entering for research purposes, it's critcally important to only attempt it in carefully controlled circumstances — lest your authorized intrusion be mistaken for the real thing. A new post to the IT Career News blog of tech industry association CompTIA underlines the importance of hands-on practice for rookie (and even advanced) pen testers. Fortunately for those who are interested in practically applying their skills but uncertain of where to turn, CompTIA is also cosponsoring, right now, a live pen-test challenge.


ISACA Releases Initial Findings of Cybersecurity Survey


Sticking like glue to the cybersecurity realm, we pivot to information security and goverance association ISACA, which this week unveiled the first round of findings from its annual cybersecurity survey. Following the pattern of past years, the State of Cybersecurity 2019 report is being released in two parts, with Part 1 available right now. The State of Cybersecurity survey, conducted at the end of last year, queried more than 1,500 cybersecurity professionals who hold ISACA security certifications. All survey participants can lay claim to one or both of the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and CSX Cybersecurity Practitioner (CSXP) credentials. Among the general findings disclosed in Part 1 of the State of Cybersecurity 2019 report, 57 percent of those surveyed say that their organizations offer increased training as an incentive to retain key cybersecurity personnel. Plenty of people are changing jobs, with 82 percent of those surveyed indicating that most cybersecurity personnel who change jobs are lured away by a mix of "financial and career incentives such as higher salaries, bonuses and promotions." The complete State of Cybersecurity 2019 report is available to download free of charge.


Meet John Cohn, Professional Crazy Inventor


We aren't sure whether IBM "Mad Scientist" John Cohn has any IT certifications, but we did find a link to an online profile describing his unlikely job and career at the IBM Certification website. The story includes a three-minute video of Cohn in action that begins with the quote, "Want to hear something funny? On two occasions I've had the fire department run into something, one was at a school, one was at work, and go, 'Oh, it's you.' " A four-decade employee of IBM, Cohn essentially lets his imagination run wild — professionally — and sees where it takes him. It's always inspiring to read about colorful characters in IT and, as Cohn himself puts it, he loves making things but also is passionate about "getting others to love making things."


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